January 11, 2021 – A series of shut downs, and FBI warnings
- Global cases 90,891,380 / deaths 1,944,750
- US cases 22,613,784 (227,899 new) / deaths 376,060 (1,988 died today).
- WA State cases 276,686 (2,214 new) / deaths were not reported today.
The House is in proforma session and Articles of Impeachment have been brought to the floor, with a vote expected tomorrow. There is historical precedent for an impeachment trial even after a person leaves office (William Belknap, Secretary of War, 1876). Speaker Pelosi has requested Pence to enact the 25th Amendment, else wise Articles of Impeachment will be presented to the Senate, who will be compelled to hold a trial, and vote to either convict or acquit.
The Senate is out and the earliest they would vote is Wednesday, which would draw a trial out beyond Trump’s past day in office. There is also talk of postponing the trial for 100 days to allow Biden to anchor his agenda. Since Trump will have left office before an impeachment trial will finish, the House goal is for conviction (followed by separate procedures in the Senate) that would ban him from holding office in the future. A conviction is a long shot since the Dems need 18 GOP Senators to cross the aisle, but this second impeachment will become historic record, regardless of its outcome.
Parler is still live on the web but not accessible via smartphone apps. The site has 8 million users, a shadow of the 89 million follower that Trump had on Twitter before he was banned.
Trump’s ‘downsizing’ now include:
- The 2022 PGA Championship withdrawn from Trump’s golf course in New Jersey.
- The British Open withdrawn from Trump’s Turnberry golf course.
- Twitter issues a lifetime ban for him and removes 70,000 QAnon accounts.
- YouTube takes action against false narratives and conspiracy theories.
- Snapchat disables his account.
- TikTok and Pinterest restrict conspiracy theory hashtags.
- Stripe (a credit card gateway) will no longer process his campaign donations, effectively crippling his ability to continue to fundraise online.
- Deutsche Bank is closing his accounts.
The WHO announces that herd immunity is unlikely to occur in 2021. Vaccine distribution in the US has slowed down and is affecting the economy. We ended 2020 with a -1% growth rate. We lost 140,000 jobs in December and 9.8 million jobs in 2020, with only a 56% recovery rate. Trump is the first president since Herbert Hoover to lose jobs during his first term.
At noon today, the FBI issues a nation-wide alert of plans for armed insurrections in all 50 states and DC. “All state, local and federal courthouses and administrative buildings are possible targets if Trump is removed from office before January 20.” It is now surmised that the armed insurrection at the Michigan State House and the attempted kidnapping plot against their governor was a trial run for the January 6 event in DC.
“Neo-Nazi accelerationists” is today’s new term – defined as groups trying to absorb Trump’s most militant supporters to participate in violent activities – Trump’s Civil War. “The Million Militia March” on DC is considered the sequel to “Unite The Right” in Charlottesville.
GoFundMe takes down fundraisers for travel expenses to potentially violent political events. AirBnB removes insurgents from their platform and cancels reservations for known Proud Boys. They are now trying to figure out how to identify insurgents from January 6 and ban them from making reservations for Inauguration. The Hotel Association of DC expects to have most of its rooms booked by National Guard.
January 12, 2021
- US cases 22,837,244 (223,460 new)
- US deaths 380,670 (4,610 of us died today)
I wake up to steady thumping upstairs. Maybe the Roman Legion is jumping rope now, or teaching aerobics. My work laptop requires rebooting at least once a day now. It’s super sluggish and hard to connect to the WIFI.
Representative Pramila Jayapal has contracted COVID-19 as a result of those who refused to wear masks among the 100 people who were sheltering in place during the Capitol lockdown. Pelosi institutes fines for maskless legislators on the floor of the House ($500 for the 1st offense, $2,500 for the 2nd) to be deducted from their pay so they cannot charge those fines to their campaign funds. By the end of the day, five House members have tested COVID-19 positive (3 Democrats and 2 GOP).
The Trump administration releases all vaccines that were being held back as second doses. In Seattle, the Fire Department is certified as a vaccine provider and will now visit adult family homes door-to-door.
Capitol Police are now investigating 15 of their officers for their roles in that event. There is growing concern about security on January 20. Democrats call for National Guard members to be vetted if they are coming to DC from across the country. CNN adds security threats to their “Live Updates” section.
Chad Wolfe steps down at DHS after his appointment is deemed illegal. He is replaced by Pete Gaynor, #6 to hold this position in the last 4 years in spite of the White House rescinding his nomination last week. James Schmid, a GOP staffer on the House Armed Services Committee, resigns, citing “my party has put political theater ahead of the defense of the Constitution and the Republic.”
Shortly before 5 PM, Pence declines to enact the 25th, and the House passes their impeachment resolution a short time later. The NYT reports that McConnell may be amenable to impeachment because it will make it easier to purge Trump from the GOP. House Minority Leader McCarthy seems to be leaning in that direction as well. I’m now waiting for their respective walk-backs…
We’ve had 2″ of rain in the last 24 hours, with more on the way. The news is raining even harder, you could drive a truck through today’s fire hose. Unable to capture further events, I turn to the custom order in progress, which I finish after a third do-over.
January 13, 2021 – A Clear and Present Danger
- US cases 23,071,894 (204,650 new)
- US deaths 384,653 (3,983 of us died today)
- WA State cases 281,202 (2,893 new) / deaths 3,838 (49 new)
- WA State hospitalizations 16,080
- Only 9 million Americans have been vaccinated so far, about 3% of the population.
- I become eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine.
We had 3.68″ of rain over the past 24 hours, with lightening and 45 mph wind. My power went out shortly after midnight and woke me up when it came back on at 3 AM. 300,000 people in Western Washington are still without power this morning.
The Feds are now telling the states to vaccinate anyone over the age of 65, while NYC reports that vaccines are running out.
Air B&B has cancelled ALL reservations in DC for next week after consultation with law enforcement. Today’s chyron on Patch (local media) reads “The Trump Insurrection.” NPR reports “every hour Trump remains in office presents a danger.”
Our state capitol in Olympia is now fenced in and National Guard will be deployed through January 20. Pence’s home near DC is also now surrounded with chain link barricades. Guard in DC are armed, and we have more troops there than we do in Afghanistan. There are armed National Guard stationed inside the Capitol Building 24/7, with many sleeping on the floor between shifts. Metal detectors are installed at the entrance to the House chamber, which some GOP are bypassing.
Members of Congress seek an investigation into why, in spite of a ban on building tours issued on January 3, there were tours on January 5, in areas of the building that only congressional members or their staff could facilitate. Ali Alexander, “Stop The Steal” organizer, said that three GOP congressmen helped with those tours – Andy Biggs, Mo Brooks and Paul Gosart. There are now questions if these were ‘recon tours’ and who supplied the insurgents with maps to the building.
Video and social media chatter confirms that the January 6 attack was planned, and that some people left the rally early to return to their cars to retrieve their weapons and other gear. “A spontaneous mob does not bring ropes and sledgehammers to a political rally.”
Charges against Trump and the other speakers at the rally may include conspiracy as well as sedition, and incitement although that will be hard to prove. For the insurgents, stealing Federal property and trespass are felonies.
Articles of Impeachment are introduced to the House Floor for debate, and at 1:30 pass with a vote of 232 that includes 10 GOP, 197 nays, 5 abstain. I forgo my 3 PM walk in order to watch the solemn but efficient “Engrossment Ceremony” where Pelosi certifies and signs the Articles of Impeachment.
“No one is above the law. President Trump is a clear and present danger. We uphold the Constitution. Sadly and with a broken heart for what this has done to our country, I now sign an “Incitement of Insurrection” Article of Impeachment.”Speaker Pelosi
Pelosi departs with the few others without further comment. The House adjourns until January 15. Trump is now the only president in US history to have been impeached twice.
There is some concern that Trump will try to seek revenge against those House GOP who voted for impeachment. McConnell still seems to be supportive but has no plan to call the Senate back into session before January 19. The Impeachment Management Team may now want to wait until after January 20 so the Biden/Harris inauguration is not overshadowed by this trial. Pelosi will ultimately determine the date when the articles are formally delivered to the Senate.
NYC severs contracts with the Trump Organization for its operation of the ice rink and carousel in Central Park, and golf courses near the city, which nets the Trump organization about $17 million/year. Amazon and Microsoft join the list of corporations withholding PAC donations to legislators who contested the January 6 Electoral College certification, which now includes Goldman Sachs, Coke, Ford, America Express, Morgan Chase and AT&T. The Dow Jones drops 6.3% and erases all of Trump’s economic gains.
January 14, 2021 – DC Clamps Down
- US cases 23,308, 712 (236,818 new)
- US deaths 388,529 (3,876 of us died today)
- WA State cases 283,777 (2,729 new) / deaths 3,876 (38 died today)
The holiday COVID-19 spike has arrived. There are currently 130,000 people hospitalized across the country, and 90,000 deaths are expected over the next 3 weeks. Vaccination guidelines are widening to include teachers, but now we have a shortage of both vaccines and personnel to administer them.
A dozen major DC Metro Stations will close tomorrow through January 21. City buses in DC will be rerouted. The Park Service expects to close the National Mall on January 20.
Giuliani is one of only 2 lawyers lining up to represent Trump at his impeachment trial. But Trump has instructed his aides not to pay him, IMHO because Giuliani lost and Trump got impeached.
January 15, 2021 – Brilliant women
- US cases 23,520,561 (212,149 new)
- US deaths 391,922 (3,393 of us died today)
- 10.6 million Americans are now vaccinated.
- Biden is informed today that there is no Federal reserve of vaccines (!!!)
- We hit 2 million global cases today.
What a horrible night. Dreams were physical and exhausting. The only one I can remember is that it was summer, I was wearing slacks and a short sleeve shirt, sitting in the back seat of someone’s car, and realizing I didn’t have a mask. I couldn’t convince the driver to take me back home, and we couldn’t find anywhere to buy one. I woke up before reaching destination or resolving the mask problem. Mom died a year ago today, maybe that anniversary has something to do with it.
The National Mall in DC closes today. Chris Krebs (whom Trump fired from the NSC), cautions people to be prepared over the next few weeks and months. He and the FBI are concerned about armed insurrectionists moving to state capitols with DC being locked down. Our Sacramento staff are instructed to work from home this week. Infrastructure may be the next targets (the power grid, the internet). The inaugural rehearsal on Sunday is cancelled. “MAGA Nation” has taken Trump’s absence of concern as a cue to continue the fight. “Freedom is a Right” and “Refuse to be Silenced” flyers are circulating on social media.
Trump had planned to leave DC on January 19 but now plans to fly on AirForce1 the morning of January 20. He wants a red carpet, a military band, a 21 gun salute, and of course, a crowd. Some of his White House staff will continue to work with him at Mar-a-Lago. I’m really glad that Biden knows his way around the White House, but Dr. Jill has her work cut out for her since Melania Trump refused to give Dr. Jill the traditional tour of the residence, or in fact ‘the time of day’ for anything during the transition.
The NRA is filing for bankruptcy. I laughed out loud while reading about brilliant women on dating sites who lured MAGA men into boasting and sharing photos of where they were on January 6, and then turning insurrectionists over to the FBI.
January 16, 2021
- Global cases 94,475,010 / deaths 2,021,871
- US cases 23,754,315 (233,754 new)
- US deaths 395,296 (3,374 of us died today)
- 1 in 3 residents in Los Angeles are now infected.
- We expect to hit 400,000 deaths by Inauguration, and 500,000 by March 1.
Most of downtown DC is now barricaded off and bridges are closed, which is making it really difficult for people to get to work.
Trump’s final actions include rushing 13 executions through after a 17-year hiatus, and transferring Oak Flat – a sacred indigenous site in Arizona – over to a mining company. I’m waiting for Trump to issue a blanket pardon after insurrectionists started requesting pardons “for doing what you asked us to do.”
Cruz and Haley are facing increasing pressure to resign, and 7,300 students and alumni have signed a petition for their disbarment. I’m really hoping for their censure or expulsion from Congress, though I know it’s wishful thinking. The Guardian reports that records are being destroyed at the White House today, though it is the only reference I see to that on today’s news cycle.
There was a bomb threat at the King County Courthouse in downtown Seattle. No bomb found, I don’t think they found a suspect or motive. Could be tied into the current political landscape, or just some random thing, as the level of general crime continues to rise here.
January 18, 2021 – MLK Day
- US cases 24,073,555 (136,780 new) / deaths 398,977 (1,377 reported today)
- COVID-19 has now killed more Americans than both World Wars combined.
- I become eligible for a vaccine this week, now I just need to find an appointment.
- And then the COVID-19 website crashed…
Agitators are telling their people to stay home this weekend (from both DC and state capitols) because “they are being framed.” Videos from January 6 continue to surface and show both planning and organization by this mob.
The Guardian reports that the FBI is vetting all 25,000 National Guard members “amid concerns of an insider attack.” Commanders and guard members are being trained for the warning signs to watch for among their own ranks. It is surreal to watch this level of security and concern surrounding a presidential inauguration in this country.
January 19, 2021 – An Inauguration Eve that 400,000 won’t see
- US cases since noon 24,246,230 / deaths 401,553 (1,531 died today)
- US death rate is now one person ever 26 seconds.
- 100,000 deaths have occurred in the last 5 weeks.
- We reach 400,000 deaths by noon today. Twice as many as any other country.
In a surprise move, McConnell delivers a speech on the Senate floor.
“The mob was fed lies, provoked by the president and other powerful people, and they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the 1st branch of federal government which they did not like…”House Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on C-SPAN
He went on to talk about moving forward, seeking common ground, “and check and balance each other respectfully.” Wow. IMHO that sounds like a healthy, open door to an impeachment trial, and conviction, and hopefully banning Trump from holding future office.
Trump finally listens to his legal council and abandons his plan to pardon himself, his family, and key people involved in the insurrection. Pardons imply guilt, which is not a thing he wants to bring to his impeachment trial. But now he plans to pardon Steve Bannon. It might be a long night, these last 16 hours of the Trump presidency, or what The Guardian framed as “a lesson in American Carnage”
Twelve National Guard members are removed from inaugural duties as a result of vetting (out of 25,000).
I can’t remember anything longer than a few minutes today. I’m eating everything in sight, but it’s more celebratory than stress-driven. I’ve walked 5 days in a row, my very own happy milestone. And I applied for a vaccine appointment today. Vaccine distribution is still fouled up but at least I’m weeks away from a vaccine, instead of months.
On the eve of his inauguration, Biden flies from his home in Wilmington, to DC, on a private plane (after the train became a security risk and Trump refused him the use of a government plane). His very first stop was the Washington Monument, where 400 candles have been set up around the Reflection Pond as a memorial to the 400,000 we have lost to COVID-19 as of today.
Cities across the country are lighting up their iconic buildings and ringing church bells – once for every 1,000 souls. Seattle lit its Space Needle and rang the temple bell in Chinatown. I turned all of my holiday lights back on and will keep them on through the night.
It is a somber, yet hopeful New Year’s Eve…